April 23, 2020 / 6:06 PM / a month ago

EU's von der Leyen sees 2-3 year hike in EU budget firepower

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen speaks during a news conference after a video conferenced EU summit with European heads of state to discuss measures related to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Brussels, Belgium April 23, 2020. Olivier Hoslet/Pool via REUTERS

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Thursday the next seven-year EU budget linked to a recovery fund was the only way to steer the bloc out of the COVID-19 crisis and that its size had to increase.

“We need to increase its firepower to be able to generate the necessary investment across the whole European Union and therefore we will propose to increase the so-called headroom,” she told a news conference.

“Our current estimates of the needs lead us to think that an own-resources ceiling of around 2% of GNI for two or three years instead of the 1.2% will be required,” she said, referring to the money that the Commission handles in the budget.

Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska, Kate Abnett, Philip Blenkinsop, editing by Robin Emmott

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